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Philosophy AmericanaMaking Philosophy at Home in American Culture$
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Douglas R. Anderson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225507

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823225507.001.0001

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Pragmatic Intellectuals

Pragmatic Intellectuals

Facing Loss in the Spirit of American Philosophy

(p.234) Fifteen Pragmatic Intellectuals
Philosophy Americana

Douglas R. Anderson

Fordham University Press

Pragmatism was granted its own Indian summer at the close of its first century. Despite their emphasis on practice, pragmatists are, for ordinary persons, simply parts of the aggregate of intellectuals and academics. C. Wright Mills observed in 1942 that “Pragmatists have typically been sons of the middle class rising within these strata into rather comfortable academic professions.” The terms of the phrase “pragmatic intellectuals” generate an internal tension as well: they resist yet at the same time demand one another. Pragmatic intellectuals are thinkers whose pragmatism tempers their intellectualism and whose intellectual dimension both underwrites and undermines their pragmatism.

Keywords:   pragmatic intellectuals, American philosophy, pragmatists, pragmatism, C. Wright Mills, intellectualism

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